[YC 126 NEWCWC] Wormhole like a wound

This is the tale of a friend, the tale of a different point of view.

Readers’ caution advised due to its content. CW: loss, trauma

Word count: 1002

The wormhole swirled in the silence of space, emitting no signal but its own presence. Its watery look trembled at times, its teal aurora slowly flowed around it. The wormhole reflected some light from the distant star, sitting at the center of the system it had spawned in, but looking into it felt like looking in another place entirely, a place charged with emotions.

She was transfixed.

She couldn’t look away.

She could only sit in silent contemplation as memories wrestled for primacy.

The sun had been bright, there, at the center of the system. Those little planets had hung in a pocket of reality amidst the nothingness. They had circled the star and, with them, circled the small lives of daring colonists that wanted to tame the unknown. The planets had been colonized, some more than others, space stations to connect them together had been built, and they had thrived.

The wormhole was mesmerizing, its slow and yet endless movement. Its silence. Its light. It was a phenomenon that caught the eye and didn’t let it go.

She had explored the unknown. She had mapped the system’s anomalies as they popped up, going as far as diving into new wormholes leading into unknown systems, hunting for knowledge and treasures. But she had always come back because she had been there to wait for her. Each and every time, leaning on the rail and looking down into the main hall, smiling bright, throwing herself in her arms, relieved to see her come back alive once again. She had found love into the unknown.

The wormhole also had a dark side. She saw the darkness hiding at the edges of the watery pool. A darkness of many facets that made living in such far away systems so dangerous. The darkness that had ruined it all.

The stations had been busy with people, coming and going, talking and laughing, working and relaxing. It had been alive, so alive. The lights had turned to red. The alarms had blared. The darkness had come. They all had known the risks, the dangers of living there… and yet, they all had hoped it could work. They all had hoped nobody would take sight of them and let them be, in peace. It hadn’t happened.

The wormhole seemed to suddenly turn hungry, the aurora twisted and flared sharply, the pool swirled as a hand of darkness sunk into it. Hungry, so hungry….

The stations were evacuated but the planets could not. Everyone had known the situation was dire. Too dire. Some had flaunted the confidence that they could ride the storm once again, just as they did before, but everyone… everyone had known the storm was greater than them. Darkness had taken hold of the system, gripping it, squeezing its life out. She had held her tight, she had held her as tight as she could that last time. She hadn’t known if they could survive. She hadn’t known if she would see her again.

The darkness enveloped the wormhole, the teal aurora dimmed. The hand of darkness was not satisfied with squeezing the life out of it, it wanted its physicality as well. It wanted everything.

There had been fire. There had been cries of battle and of pain. They had mounted a desperate resistance, they had tried all they could to keep the darkness at bay, to try gain enough time to survive and find a solution. However, the darkness had been too much, too strong, too hungry for their small lives. Fire had engulfed the system, the fire of destruction and of the all-consuming hunger.

The wormhole squirmed, it seemed to cry in pain as the hand squeezed harder. It took its light away, its shape away, it crushed it. It tried to stay alive… it tried. In a silent avalanche, the wormhole curled up, it started a one-way collapse on itself till it silently popped out of existence. The door to another place, far away in space and time, had closed.

The dreaded call had come: the system was lost, scatter and survive. In a last bid to see another day, they had packed the few things they could carry away. They had crammed on the few ships that could disappear into the darkness and bring them out to safety and then… they had undocked. They had watched in pain as the stations and the planets had turned smaller and smaller… till they had disappeared. They had left more than just physical possessions. They had left hopes and dreams, they had left lives that had made them feel alive.

She was left staring at where there had once been a wormhole. Now there was only the emptiness of space. As the door to another place in space and time had disappeared, the memories started to recede. The primary star shined on, and they had to slither back in the darkened drawers they had come from, drawers darkened by fire, pain and loss.

The memories had once again been too much. She sighed, leaning back, tears slowly dripping down her cheeks. Hers had been an open wound that hadn’t healed, one that cried each and every time she faced the prospect of entering a wormhole. It paralyzed her, it gripped her heart in fear that what had happened would happen again.

She believed time healed, but time had passed and yet it hadn’t been enough to heal her. With shaky hands, she made the ship move, heading back toward the inner system. Each time she saw a wormhole, she couldn’t but see the darkness, she couldn’t but see her own wound made real.

“A wormhole is a rip in the fabric of space, connecting two places that couldn’t be connected otherwise. From a biological point of view, you could say they are wounds of an all encompassing organism, letting us, little space people, move in between separated areas of this organism. Kind of like little bacteria and parasites.”
~ Unknown scientist, discussing the nature of wormholes

I would like to submit this to the YC 126 New Eden Capsuleer’s Writing Contest in the Prose category.